Adoption Requirements in Delaware
What Do I Need to Adopt a Child in Delaware?
Before you get too far into the adoption process, you need to understand the requirements for adoption in Delaware. Each state has different adoption requirements, and each type of adoption has different requirements to adopt as well. The Delaware adoption requirements for domestic infant adoption are slightly different than the requirements to adopt from foster care, or the requirements to adopt internationally.
Along with ensuring you meet the requirements to adopt a child in Delaware, you’ll also want to ask any adoption agency you work with about their requirements. While this article can’t be taken as legal advice, it will outline some of the basic requirements for adoption in Delaware.
What are the Requirements to Adopt a Child in Delaware?
You may be wondering, “How hard is it to adopt a baby in Delaware? Do you have to be married to adopt? What are the qualifications to adopt a child?”
The good news is that Delaware’s adoption requirements are minimal. Any individual — married, unmarried or divorced — is eligible to adopt a child. The hopeful adoptive parents must be at least 21 years of age and be residents of Delaware at the time of filing the adoption petition.
While other elements, such as criminal background, may be taken into consideration by a court, they are not specifically outlined in Delaware’s requirements for adopting a child.
What are the Requirements to Adopt a Child From Foster Care in Delaware?
Foster care adoption, also called foster to adopt, has a different set of adoption requirements in Delaware than domestic infant adoption. There are currently more than 600 children in the Delaware foster care system, and the state is looking for adoptive families for about 200 of these children. If you are considering adoption in Delaware, foster care adoption is a viable option.
The requirements for adoption from foster care in Delaware are:
You must be at least 21 years old
You must pass a criminal background check
You must have approved home, health and safety inspections
You are required to attend at least 27 hours of foster parent training
You must provide personal references
If you meet these requirements, you can contact your local Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families to speak with a state professional about becoming a foster parent.
Can LGBTQ Couples Adopt in Delaware?
For years, there was unnecessary pushback against LGBTQ adoption in many states. This was based on false ideas about children raised in LGBTQ homes and other untrue stereotypes. Thankfully, LGBTQ couples can now legally adopt in all 50 states.
If you are an LGBTQ couple thinking about adoption in Delaware, you can adopt as long as you meet the other Delaware requirements for adoption. Additionally, you can find resources specifically tailored to LGBTQ parents in your state.
Will My Agency Have Specific Adoption Requirements in Delaware?
Your adoption agency is likely to have its own set of adoption requirements, and this will vary on a case-by-case basis depending on who you choose to work with. American Adoptions has different requirements for adoption depending on which program parents are a part of. These adoption qualifications are put in place to make sure any child who comes home through adoption is going into a loving, safe family.
Are There Any Other Adoption Requirements in Delaware?
There aren’t any other legal requirements for adoption in Delaware. That being said, there are still several things that are absolutely necessary in order for you to successfully complete an adoption. These are good questions to ask before starting the adoption process:
Are you prepared to meet the needs of a child?
The adoption process can be challenging, but so can waking up at 3 a.m. to comfort your crying newborn. Adoption isn’t just a process that ends at placement. It’s the beginning of lifelong commitment. It won’t always be easy. Before choosing to adopt, it is an unwritten adoption requirement that you have considered this and are ready for all the responsibility that comes with adoption.
Do you have the financial resources to complete the adoption process and support a family?
Being rich is not a requirement for adoption in Delaware. However, the costs associated with the adoption process can be expensive. After that, raising a child doesn’t come cheap. It is estimated that it costs $233,610 to raise a child from birth to the age of 17. Are you prepared to financially provide for your child?
Is your home setup optimal for a child?
This will be covered more officially in your adoption home study, which anyone who wants to adopt must complete. Before getting to the home study, it’s worth considering what you could do to make your home a better environment for a child. Are there open spaces to play? How about exposed sharp corners? Are the stairs safe? While not a specific adoption requirement in Delaware, baby-proofing your living space and ensuring your home is ready for a child is necessary in order to adopt.
Are you fully committed to adoption?
It cannot be emphasized enough how important this is. Adoption isn’t something you can go into halfheartedly. Once you’re in — you’re in. Your future child and potential birth mother need your complete dedication to this process from the start. While it can’t be written into law, this is an essential requirement for adoption in Delaware or anywhere else.
So, do you meet the requirements to adopt a child in Delaware? If you have more questions about adoption qualifications, or would like to start your adoption process today, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption professional.
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